Acclaim calls on builder’s remedy for 198 apartments in Palo Alto

Seven-story project would help city reach state-mandated goal of 6,086 new homes

Acclaim Tries Builder’s Remedy for 198 Palo Alto Apartments
Acclaim Companies' Mark Johnson and a rendering of plans for 762 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto (Studio T-Sq., Acclaim Companies)

Acclaim Companies and Globe Investments want to build a seven-story apartment complex in Palo Alto using builder’s remedy.

The Menlo Park-based developer and locally based investor have filed preliminary plans under the state housing law loophole to build 198 apartments at 762 San Antonio Road, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reported. 

It would replace three commercial buildings occupied by Hengehold Truck Sales, owned by Globe Investments and led by David Hengehold, according to state business records.

Builder’s remedy allows developers to bypass local zoning rules in cities such as Palo Alto without housing plans approved by the state. Such projects must include at least 20 percent affordable housing.

Plans at 762 San Antonio Road call for 198 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments in a 256,400-square-foot complex on 1.78 acres. Forty units would be set aside as affordable for lower-income households. 

The beige and gray project, designed by Oakland-based Studio T-Square, has inset and exterior balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows on its ground floor, according to a rendering.

Palo Alto, like all other Northern California cities, was required to have its housing plan approved by January 2023. It’s among eight Santa Clara County cities not to have certified plans.

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Their failure to do so opened it up to builder’s remedy project applications — and a growing outcry by local residents unhappy with the scale of such developments.

Palo Alto turned in its latest draft in June, which was rejected by the California Department of Housing and Community Development. The city must plan for 6,086 homes by 2031 to meet housing demand and expected population growth.

Acclaim has also filed plans to redevelop the former site of The Fish Market restaurant at 3150 El Camino Real in Palo Alto with a seven-story, 380-unit apartment complex.

In November, the developer filed the first builder’s remedy plan in Cupertino for a five-story, 141-unit apartment complex at 20015 Stevens Creek Boulevard. The state requires the city to plan for 4,588 homes by 2031, including nearly 1,900 units for low- and very low-income households.

— Dana Bartholomew

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